The NHL playoffs are rolling on, as conference finalists are being sorted out in the East and in the West. Nashville is making their first appearance, and the Edmonton Oilers are actually killing it, about to head into game seven against the Ducks. Ottawa is still going against the Rangers, and the Penguins are going into game seven against the Caps.
Imagine being a team still in the playoffs? At this point, I can’t. I mean, it was cool that the Bs made it this year, but they still couldn’t get past the first round. And here we are, again, without a team in the playoffs in May.
As a Bruins fan, I’m not sure what to do. I mean, sure, the NHL playoffs are fun and exciting. They sound fun to watch. Sounds like good hockey. But to me, the only thing left to do is look on in despair and negativity. But it might not all be that bad.
The offseason will be interesting. For the first time since the early 2000s, there will be an NHL Expansion Draft, as the Vegas Golden Knights look to fill out their roster. They get their pick of players from each team, with the exception of those players marked as protected.
Seeing who the Bruins will protect will be interesting, especially on D. Which Miller will they expose? I hope they keep Colin, because I think he has shown to have a better ceiling than Kevan. But Kevan’s recent, relative stability, and toughness create another interesting choice. The argument for keeping Kevan isn’t completely irrational, so I don’t completely dismiss the debate.
In the forward group, I think that the Bruins just need to move on from Ryan Spooner. Whether in the expansion draft, or trading his rights, he’s not a good fit. I was a Spooner guy for a long time, but he just hasn’t panned out. It isn’t just him butting heads with Coach Julien, either. Cassidy also benched him. Maybe he’s suited for a team that just drastically needs players, like an expansion team, or the Vancouver Canucks. Who knows?
I think Matt Beleskey deserves another shot, this year it didn’t seem like he had completely recovered from whatever leg injury he had sustained. The new anchors of the bottom six, Riley Nash, Dominic Moore, and now Noel Acciari could definitely benefit from a fully healthy Beleskey. Young forwards Sean Kuraly and Jake DeBrusk are looking good in the AHL Playoffs with the Providence Bruins. DeBrusk is a playmaking sniper who would look awesome in a top six role, assuming he can play at NHL speed. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a player like David Krejci traded, especially with these guys coming up.
The Bruins young guns like Carlo and McAvoy look as promising as they did before. McAvoy has been playing solidly for the USA in the IIHF World Championships. He is one that the Bruins absolutely need to continue to develop. The Bruins don’t have to worry about these young guns being taken in the expansion draft, because they aren’t eligible to be picked (age/time spent in league). Imagine that.
Let’s go Bs. Let’s go Cs.
Written By: Bob Rice @bobricebobrice